LOS ANGELES–Representatives of the Armenian Youth Federation Central Executive met with Turkish Consul General to Los Angeles Hayri Hayret Yalav Friday morning during an impromptu meeting which took place when AYF representatives visited the Consulate to deliver a protest and demand letter urging the Turkish government to recognize the Armenian Genocide.
AYF CE chairman Christopher Guldjian–CE Secretary Sylva Bezdjian and AYF Genocide Commemoration Council representative Melkon Melkonian entered the consulate offices with hopes of delivering a letter–but instead met with Yalav–who engaged in an hour-long debate with the representatives.
Citing international conventions and recognition–the AYF representatives told the consul that efforts to deny the Armenian Genocide were futile and that the Turkish government must take steps into rectifying past mistakes.
The AYF representatives–throughout the discussion–referred to historic data and background information and pressed the consul for an explanation of his country’s policy to deny the Armenian Genocide.
After reading the protest letter–Consul Yalav promised the AYF representatives that he would respond to the letter–always maintaining the official denial of the Turkish government.
Below is the text of the protest letter delivered to the Consul General:
His Excellency Suleyman Demirel President–Republic of Turkey
c/o Turkish Consulate–Los Angeles Los Angeles–CA 90010
On this–the 83rd commemoration of the Genocide by the Government of Ottoman Turkey against the Armenian population living under Ottoman rule–the Armenian Youth Federation strongly condemns the continuing denial of the Armenian Genocide by the Government of Turkey and its efforts to revise history.
The Armenian Genocide is a historical fact–documented extensively and studied widely. The Government of Turkey’s relentless efforts to whitewash its history–as demonstrated by its activities to establish politically motivated history chairs under the guise of academia–most recently and unsuccessfully at the University of California–at Los Angeles–have been noted by hundreds of scholars.
Any attempt to deny the occurrence of the Armenia Genocide and to rehabilitate the perpetrators from their guilt is as condemnable as the crime itself.
Therefore–we demand–that the Government of the Republic of Turkey recognize that the rulers of the Ottoman Empire carried out a systematic and deliberate plan to annihilate the entire Armenian population and massacred more than 1.5 million Armenia’s–delving through death marches; that the Government of Turkey–in recognizing this horrific crime–embark on the process of reconciliation by entering into a dialogue with the representatives of the Armenian people.
Sincerely, Christopher Guldjian
Chairperson Armenian Youth Federation